Bush and Blair call for a cease fire. Remember me writing about the possibility that at some point we’d have to play the role of the buddy who pulls you out of a bar fight and lets you save face? My guess is that’s what’s happening here. I suspect the Israelis, having waffled on dealing with Hezbollah, are grateful to us for stepping in.There is a lot here.
This is a clear Hezbollah win. Dress it up with all the diplomacy you like, Hezbollah threw down with the IDF and walked away with heads held high. This is a watershed. Not a good one.
- Yes the Israelis are thankful the US is bailing them out
- Yes it is a Hezbollah win
- Yes this is not a good thing
So how did this happen? I think once again Michael pretty well nails it.
The Israelis beat the Arabs like a tin drum for decades. 1948, 1967, 1973. After 1967 the Jordanians decided to make peace. After 1973 the Egyptians made peace. Then in 2000 Israel was chased out of Lebanon by Hezbollah. On this go-round they blinked first and Hezbollah will claim a second Jewish scalp.Not much to argue with here, a pretty accurate time line. So why is this so bad? Once again Michael gets it right.
Meanwhile, on a paralell line the US in the person of Jimmy Carter caved in to the Iranians in 1979. In 1983 Ronald Reagan surrendered to Hezbollah and sent Ollie North to toady their Iranian paymasters. In 1991 president Bush the Wiser kicked Iraq out of Kuwait. In 2001 president Bush the Younger took down the Taliban, and in 2003 he invaded Iraq. Now we are facing a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and losing the war in Iraq to a combination of Baathists, Al Qaeda and Shia militia.
This will be a huge encouragement to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda, and a double shot of adrenalin to Hezbollah and Hamas. And there’s this: Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the largest Shia militia in Iraq, may fairly conclude that he needs to commit fully to driving out the Americans. The surest path to fame and fortune in the Muslim world is to brush up on your Koran and attack the west. I wonder if Ayatollah Ali Sistani will be able to keep any sort of leash on his Iraqi Shia now.I see this as a good analysis.
A formula is now in place: unconventional Islamist forces vs. western armies = victory.
Where I suspect Michael and I disagree is on the root cause of the debacle. I see it as decades of example of failure of the entire Likud/neocon ideology. You simply can't destroy countries, kill people and keep them in a constant state of war and expect them to do what you want them too. The Israelis should know better, they have lived through that for 58 years. The necons in the US? Well they have never experienced it.